The following article is adapted from "Noam Chomsky and Sept. 11th," which appeared in PoliticallyRight.com.
The day before Secretary of State Colin Powell delivered his damning report on Iraq to the United Nations, the most despicable America-hater in all of academia— Noam Chomsky— gave an interview to the Guardian, in which he lowered his political crosshairs not on the deadly regime of Saddam Hussein but on members of the Bush Administration, whom he views as evil warmongers intent on world domination. To those familiar with Chomsky, these anti-American assertions concerning Iraq were predictable.
Chomsky, a professor of linguistics at MIT, has spent the past forty years composing anti-American diatribes and filling the heads of impressionable college students with crackpot leftist ideas such as the belief that America is “a leading terrorist state.” The entire corpus of his work concerning politics and foreign policy is founded on the old left-wing contention that when American policy is judged, it should not be measured against the policies of other existing nations, but against the utopian vision of a heaven on earth— a vision that enchants the political dreams of the radical Left. The idea here is to bring America’s imperfections under close scrutiny while strategically dismissing the barbarism of America’s enemies. Chomsky is by far the Left’s most gifted master of this tactic. It is not much of a surprise then that Chomsky has stepped into the Iraq debate on the side of Saddam Hussein. The professor has been propagandizing for Iraq for sometime. He began speaking out loudly last summer when the confrontation between the U.S. and Iraq started to heat up. But even before this, Chomsky made his position on the war against terror known in a little book called 9-11.
This one-hundred and eighteen page screed, which was published soon after the September 11th attacks, consists of a half dozen interviews with Chomsky conducted primarily by foreign journalists and focused around the events of 9-11. The interviews were carried out via e-mail, leaving Chomsky with plenty of time to formulate his anti-American thoughts. A reader looking for such opinions will not be disappointed. Every sentence is carefully designed to do the greatest amount of damage to Chomsky’s enemy, which is none other than that evil empire itself— the United States.
As the book gets started, the disgruntled Chomsky wastes no time attacking America. He writes:
"During the past several hundred years the U.S. annihilated the indigenous population (millions of people), conquered half of Mexico (in fact, the territories of indigenous peoples, but that is another matter), intervened violently in the surrounding region, conquered Hawaii and the Philippines (killing hundreds of thousands of Filipinos), and, in the past half century particularly, extended its resort to force throughout much of the world."
After getting this off of his chest, Chomsky moves on to his main point, which is that the U.S. should not retaliate for the terrorist attacks but should instead track down those responsible and put them on trial. To his detriment, he is unable to construct a solid argument for his point of view and ends up comparing 9-11 to the Oklahoma City bombing. He writes: “When it [the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City] was found to be domestic, with links to ultra-right militias, there was no call to obliterate Montana and Idaho.” The point that he is unsuccessfully attempting to make is that this case should be used as a precedent to prevent America from bombing foreign nations in retaliation for 9-11. But, for obvious reasons, this analogy makes no sense.
The domestic terrorists who orchestrated the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building (Do I really need to say this?) were not financed by “Montana or Idaho” or any other state in the Union. They were a fringe group without connections to any domestic state or foreign nation. Conversely, the Islamic terrorists who attacked America on September 11th were financed by foreign nations. Instead of just lobbing missiles at random Muslim countries (as Chomsky’s slanted history of America would lead his readers to expect), however, the United States government took its time figuring out exactly which government provided the funding before retaliating. When American troops did embark on a campaign in Afghanistan, the military took laborious precautions to ensure that as few civilians as possible were injured. Even when it was discovered that an American named John Walker Lynd was fighting for the enemy, the CIA agents who came across his dirty secret did not bestow upon him the punishment traditionally dished out to military traitors— a quick introduction to a firing squad— but they instead transported him back to America, where he stood trial and recieved a mere twenty-year prison sentence.
These facts, no doubt, are lost on the livid Chomsky. His goal is to demonize the United States, not to give it credit for anything. This is evident in his ridiculous booklet 9-11 where he states the following absurdity:
"To call it a 'war against terrorism,' however, is simply more propaganda, unless the 'war' really does target terrorism. But that is plainly not contemplated because Western powers could never abide by their own official definitions of the term, as in the U.S. Code or Army manuals. To do so would at once reveal that the U.S. is a leading terrorist state, as are its clients."
Such irresponsible nihilism is fuel for the left-wing fire that is quickly burning up what little patriotism is left among American college students who view Chomsky as the greatest thing since recyclable beer cans. Positioning oneself against “The System” is an appealing prospect for college students who are old enough to attend a “protest” but are still young enough to be bankrolled by their parents. Being able to enjoy a rocking keg party or to blowback a good bowl of grass without having to earn your own money is, after all, the socialist dream— or at least what it has become. It should not be a surprise then that college students are the primary addicts of Chomsky’s dangerous junk.
Radical professors construct an academic environment ripe for the ideas of Chomsky to take root and grow. It is commonplace today for professors to deprive students of real knowledge, filling their heads instead with the crackpot notions that America is inherently racist, sexist and evil to the core. Thus paving the way for a maniac like Noam Chomsky to step in and present students with radical political tracts that take the leftist tripe that they have learned in the classroom and apply it to current world events. The passage from 9-11 cited above is just one of literally thousands of examples of Chomsky's work that reinforces this point.
When Noam Chomsky criticizes the U.S. as “a leading terrorist state,” he is referring to the fact that America does not have an entirely clean record when it comes to foreign policy. (The U.S., however, bares absolutely no resemblance to the terrorists who attacked on 9-11. For Chomsky to make such an unfounded comparison is utterly despicable.) For students of the Chomskian school of thought, if there is just one stain on the record of American foreign policy, America must be considered an intrinsically horrid nation with no hope for redemption. This intellectual trend has been gaining greater respectability among academics since American radicals began their war in the universities more than thirty years ago. The universal popularity of a political hack like Chomsky testifies to the success of this war.
What academic radicals such as Chomsky and his numerous stooges cannot understand is that American foreign policy is always decided by asking one fundamental question: Which option is the most beneficial for Americans? Another fundamental question that usually follows, as the case of Vietnam illustrates, is, which potential ally is the lesser of two evils? For decision makers in the government to undermine these questions for any reason would be a shirking of their duty, which is to protect the safety of American citizens.
Two key indictments are set forth in Chomsky’s little book. The first is that the U.S. really has no moral basis to claim injury by the terrorists because the American government itself is a refuge for “some of the most unsavory characters” in the world. The second is that even if the U.S. does retaliate for the terrorist attacks, it should only ally itself with perfect nations (which of course don‘t exist), or it is committing a sin comparable to or perhaps even greater than that which was committed by the terrorists on 9-11. Chomsky dismisses the brutality of America’s enemies but is quick to blame the U.S. for any deaths that it might cause by defending itself. He also blames the U.S. for deaths that it did not cause. An example is the following passage:
"The United States continues international terrorism . . . I don’t know what name you give to the policies that are a leading factor in the death of maybe a million civilians in Iraq and maybe a half a million children, which is the price the Secretary of State says we’re willing to pay. Is there a name for that?"
He is referring to the sanctions placed on Iraq by the United States. But one can hardly blame the U.S. for the starvation of Iraqis. It is Saddam Hussein alone who shoulders responsibility for this injustice. If he were not a fascist dictator who threatens the security of the United States, his country would not have had sanctions placed on it. And if he did not direct his country’s revenues into his own wallet, his people would not be starving. But Chomsky does not see things so clearly. According to his warped logic, the United States must bare responsibility for the suffering of its enemies; but its enemies must bare no responsibility for their own suffering. I suppose we should be thankful that Chomsky has consigned himself to academia and has not ventured out into public service. If Chomsky set our foreign policy, America would implode within seconds.
The point that Chomsky consistently ignores in his writings is that American foreign policy has long been correctly directed by the “lesser of two evils” theory which has kept America afloat on the world stage for more than two hundred years. The foundation for this policy was laid down by President James Monroe who announced what came to be called the “Monroe Doctrine” in 1823. According to this doctrine, America would accept no more European incursions in the Western Hemisphere. This was a step away from George Washington’s admonition to avoid any “entangling alliances” that might draw America into a foreign war. Washington articulated this caution in his farewell address, at a time when the United States was very vulnerable and the threat of European warfare loomed on the horizon. But by the time of the Monroe Doctrine, the U.S. had witnessed substantial growth and the act of European colonization in the Western Hemisphere could be taken as a threat to American sovereignty.
From that time forward, U.S. foreign policy has traveled through different stages, but one tenet has remained constant: The protection and welfare of U.S. citizens is always the most important objective. This sometimes means that America must ally itself with regimes that do not meet the standards the U.S. government holds for itself. But just because America works with a corrupt government against a mutual enemy does not mean that America is responsible for the corruption of its ally. The unsavory regime is responsible for its own shortcomings. The world is a dirty, dangerous place, and the responsibility of the American government is to protect its own citizens. Period. To think that America can keep the entire world free of corruption or greed is to live with your head in a utopian cloud. That of course is exactly how Noam Chomsky and his radical disciples live.
An extension of this mentality is the belief that America should be placed on the same level with its enemies so its policies can be properly scrutinized. Take a look at how Chomsky slams America’s move to retaliate against terrorism:
"After many years of terror beginning in late 1959, including very serious atrocities, Cuba should have the right to resort to violence against the U.S. according to U.S. doctrine that is scarcely questioned. It is, unfortunately, all too easy to continue, not only with regard to the U. S. but also other terrorist states."
What Chomsky is saying is that the U.S. is no more justified in attacking the states that sponsor terrorism than Castro would be in launching a war on American soil! To take this lunacy to its logical conclusion, he is also saying that because America is fighting back against terrorism, it would be hypocritical for the U.S. to get upset if Castro did launch such an attack.
With an intellectual résumé like this, one should not be too surprised that Chomsky is a supporter of Saddam Hussein. Chomsky of course would never openly admit to supporting Hussein. But his continual demonizing of America and his attempts to undermine its war efforts put Chomsky in the same camp as the Iraqi dictator. Let’s take a look at some of the statements that Chomsky has made since the trouble with Iraq began heating up last summer.
In August 2002, Chomsky gave an interview to Znet in which he spewed the following utterances concerning Iraq:
"… the weapons inspections were vastly more effective than bombing in destroying Iraq's military capacities, and appear to have been largely successful. Going a step beyond, when was the last time there was a meaningful (or any) international inspection of Israel's nuclear and (probably) chemical weapons facilities? Or those of the U.S.? Inspection regimes should be established, and universalized, but that again requires U.S. acquiescence.
"It has always been likely that sooner or later, the U.S. would try to restore this enormous prize [Iraq’s oil fields] to Western control…9-11 offered new opportunities to pursue these goals under the pretext of a ‘war on terror’ -- thin pretexts, but probably sufficient for propaganda purposes."
These excerpts exhibit Chomsky’s disdain for America and his perverse intellectual fetish for terrorist states. He simply cannot address the threat of Iraq without insinuating that the U.S. is a greater threat to the world. In another interview, for example, which was published in the Link in November 2002, Chomsky was asked whether the U.S. has a “right” or a “responsibility” to change the regime in Iraq. His response follows:
"No one has a right, and if you don't have a right, you don't have a responsibility. Undoubtedly, there are plenty of regimes that need to be changed, and Saddam Hussein's is one. But there's a long list. For example, let's take the United States -- a great deal of the world regards the U.S. as a 'menace to itself and the world.'”
This vitriolic attitude towards America seems to derive from Chomsky’s firm belief that any defensive action taken by the U.S. is simply a political camouflage for a more sinister plot. A case in point is a statement made by Chomsky in an interview that appeared in Alternet.org in December 2002. When the interviewer asks Chomsky if he thinks that the Bush Administration is “bluffing” when it threatens military action against Iraq, he responds by saying: “Not at all. I think they are desperately eager to win an easy victory over a defenseless enemy, so they can strut around as heroes and liberators, to the rousing cheers of the educated classes.”
It seems that Chomsky’s malice just never ends. In his Guardian interview on February 4th, Chomsky further cemented his pro-Saddam position by throwing himself into what can only be described as a political fit, focused around the idea that America is the world‘s Great Satan. In this interview the America-hating professor alleges that any American who believes that “Saddam is a terrible person” is the victim of an “irrational fear created by massive propaganda” which is, of course, orchestrated by the Bush Administration. This pro-war propaganda, Chomsky claims, is derivative of the Republican Party’s need “to terrify the population to feel there’s some enormous threat to their existence and carry out a miraculous, decisive and rapid victory over this enormous foe and march on to the next one.” Chomsky then continues to dissect the reason why the Bush Administration wants to depose Saddam Hussein. His explanation is this: the “recycled Reaganites” who are “now running the show in Washington” know that “controlling Iraq will put the U.S. in a very powerful position to extend its domination of the major energy resources of the world.”
In other words, the Bush Administration is not concerned with Saddam Hussein’s terrorist ties, or his proliferation of chemical and biological weapons, or any of the numerous other reasons why he has proven himself a threat to Americans. According to Chomsky, the President, his top advisors, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and most of Congress have secretly conspired to take over the Middle East, and have decided that invading Iraq is the best way to accomplish this takeover. All the while, these “recycled Reaganites” have allegedly borrowed a page from the Reagan playbook and have intentionally kept the American population “in a state of panic.” If not for this effort of “massive propaganda,” Chomsky contests, Republicans would not have won such victories last November but instead “they would have been smashed” at the polls by left-wing Democrats and would not now be in a position to carry out a greed-inspired war with Iraq.
Listen to the way that Chomsky, in his Guardian interview, sums up the current Administration’s turn towards war in Iraq: “…it could be what the hawks in Washington hope - a quick victory, no fighting to speak of, impose a new regime, give it a democratic façade, make sure the U.S. has big military bases there, and effectively controls the oil.” This is the clichéd “war for oil” argument that is so hollow, I won’t even address it accept to say that the U.S. has already won a decisive victory over Iraq in the recent past. If our motives were driven entirely by greed, why did we not take over the oil fields then?
The answer to this question should be obvious to any thinking person: America has no intention of taking over the oil fields of the Middle East. America is going to war with Iraq because Saddam Hussein possesses chemical and biological agents that he refuses to destroy. Moreover, he is supplying and training members of al-Qaeda and he is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. The bottom line is that we are engaging Iraq in war to save the lives of American civilians who have been earmarked as legitimate targets by Saddam Hussein and the al-Qaeda terrorists whom he sponsors.
This point, however, will never penetrate the syrupy skulls of Noam Chomsky and his numerous stooges who constitute the noisy majority of American academics. They are slaves to the diseased mentality of leftism— an illogical and insular world-view that allows leftists to operate like spoiled children, while the rest of us carry out the unpleasant task of addressing the dangers inherent to life in the real world.